When it comes to bucket list adventures, Bali has it all. From romantic walks through rice terraces to mind-blowingly beautiful waterfalls and stunning luxury hotels, if you can dream it, you can do it in Bali.
One of the most popular bucket list activities in Bali is swimming with wild manta rays; here’s everything you need to know:
The coastal waters of south-eastern Bali are home to a resident group of manta rays. The majestic creatures are a joy to encounter.
Most manta rays can grow to 3-4m in size, but it is possible that you will come across a giant oceanic manta ray that can grow up to 9m in length!
They are peaceful and calm and pose no threat to humans, making it a real honor to be able to share the water with them.
One of the most popular ways to experience the manta rays is to go snorkeling. There are many tour operators in Bali who offer scuba diving experiences with manta rays, but since this requires PADI scuba diving training, the most accessible way to experience swimming with the manta rays is by snorkeling.
@lexgautier Surreal experience diving with the mantas in Nusa Penida💙 #nusapenida #mantarays #balitravel #travelexperience #traveltips ♬ back to the ocean – beachbumblaine
Bali’s resident group of manta rays can most often be found in the waters off Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. The easiest way to reach Bali’s outlying islands is by fast boat from Sanur, which makes the crossing multiple times a day.
You can take a single-day trip to swim with the manta rays or head over to Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan for a holiday within your holiday to make the most of the island vibes.
Manta Point off Nusa Penida is the most popular spot for diving with the manta rays. You don’t have to be an experienced snorkeler to swim with the manta rays in Bali, but you do need to be a confident swimmer.
@tr4velwithmel Scuba Diving in Nusa Penida at Manta Point 📍#nusapenida #nusapenidadiving #nusapenidadiveschool #nusapenidabali #nusapenidaisland #travelbali #travelugc #ugctravel #balitips #baliguide #balitravel #balitransport #balitipsandtricks #balibelly #bali2023 #ubud2023 #femaletraveller #scubadivingadventures #mantarays #mantapoint #mantapointnusapenida #mantapointdivers ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim
Most tour providers will kit you out with flippers and snorkeling gear, though you are more than welcome to use your own if you like.
Manta rays visit Manta Point as it is a ‘cleaning site.’ There are two cleaning sites around Manta Point, one at 7m in depth and the other at about 20m.
The rays visit these rocky areas to have small fish remove the parasites from their skin. This daily routine means that sightings are almost guaranteed.
@bellipopelli Ariel, the confused looking mermaid🧜🏻♀️ #mantaray#bali#balitok#manta#travel#traveltok#fyp#indonesia ♬ Under the Sea – Instrumental / From "The Little Mermaid" – London Music Works
Manta rays tend to swim between the surface of the ocean down to a depth of 15m. You will never forget your first meeting with a manta ray; it truly takes your breath away.
People describe mantra rays as majestic, elegant, powerful, and striking. It is almost indescribable; you will certainly feel alive and connected to the natural world.
Naturally, manta rays are wild animals, and there are some important rules to follow during your diving experience.
First and foremost, never touch a manta ray. Keep a safe distance away from the manta rays, allowing them the right of way in the water.
Do not cause them stress; this includes following them closely or chasing them, or causing a major disturbance in the water.
Your guide should give you and your fellow divers a thorough run down of the rules before you enter the water.
It is not only manta rays that you will encounter during your snorkeling trip around Manta Point in Nusa Penida. The coastal waters around Bali are alive and thriving, teaming with aquatic life.
If you are super lucky, you may even encounter a turtle (or two) during your snorkeling trip. If you are visiting Bali between July and October, you may encounter the mesmerizing Sunfish, also known as Mola Mola.
These giant fish can grow to three meters in length and weigh up to 2 tonnes.
A juvenile Mola Mola fish measures about 6 ft and can be easily recognized by its round and flat body. The color of Mola Mola fish varies, starting from a dark brown color through to silver gray, sometimes with golden highlights.
There is a prehistoric feel to the Mola Mola fish. You will most likely find them in the waters of Crystal Bay in Nusa Penida.
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